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MD Help me choose - M1 Considering Multiple Specialties to Explore

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Piglet2020

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Hello, I’m an incoming M1. I haven’t decided which residency to pursue as I want to explore what’s out there.

More about myself:
F in early 20s, quiet & introverted, don’t mind seeing blood but prefer less surgery-heavy specialties
I’m aiming for a less competitive to mod competitive specialty.

*Edit: Note these are not absolutes, just preferences
-Prefer private practice over hospital
-Less chaotic setting, not ER
-Doesn't matter what kinds of patients I see, but dont want to work with kids all the time (no peds)
-Don't want to talk all the time (like in Psych) or do surgery all the time. A good balance between the two works*

Current Specialty Interests:
Radiology
Anesthesiology
IM - maybe Endo
Ophthamo

What I would like for the job: Note these are not absolutes, just preferences
-Work-life balance (like a 9-5, but on calls r fine)
-300k+
-Suburban to mid-size city setting, East Coast

I’m open to anything, so please suggest which residencies best match these preferences. Ty.
 
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Apothecary Aquinas

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SDN has a 'residency selector' quiz that helps you to identify the residencies/specialties that most match up with your personality and desired lifestyle:

How to Choose a Medical Specialty

The AAMC also provides a similar assessment (you have to log into your account):

AAMC

Having said that, as an incoming M1 there's no need to figure out exactly what you want to do right now. That's part of what you'll discover over the next 3ish years before you apply. I'd recommend joining a few interest groups and maybe shadowing some specialties you're interested in to start getting a better idea. No matter how good a specialty looks on paper or how great someone else says it is you won't really know until you get your "hands dirty" or explore it for yourself.
 
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Chibucks15

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Hello, I’m an incoming M1. I haven’t decided which residency to pursue as I want to explore what’s out there.

More about myself:
F in early 20s, quiet & introverted, don’t mind seeing blood but prefer less surgery-heavy specialties
I’m aiming for a less competitive to mod competitive specialty.

Current Specialty Interests:
Radiology
Anesthesiology
IM - maybe Endo
Ophthamo

What I would like for the job:
-Work-life balance (like a 9-5, but on calls r fine)
-300k+
-Suburban to mid-size city setting, East Coast

I’m open to anything, so please suggest which residencies best match these preferences. Ty.
Gonna be blunt and say your wish list is pretty much what everyone else wants also (save for some not wanting East Coast). The classic adage is "Pick 2: Hours, Money, Location" but obviously there's some that fit all 3. As an M1 just worry about learning the material and shadow as many docs as you can...it definitely helps with decision making. Everyone changes their minds on specialty at least once as you learn more about each one
 
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Piglet2020

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Okay I get that and I never said I would be 100% set on one specialty — that would be ridiculous for an M1.

Please dont post lectures about how everyone changes their minds later on b/c I know that already. Some residencies don’t fit the preferences I listed above (lifestyle, 300k, low to mod competition)
Ex: derm - high pay and good lifestyle but rlly competitive
EM - good pay and mod competition, but lifestyle may not be great

I’m just asking for good specialties to consider. I’m sure there are specialties I never heard of before. As someone who is curious about the broad spectrum of medicine, I would like to learn more of what’s out there.
 

Chibucks15

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Okay I get that and I never said I would be 100% set on one specialty — that would be ridiculous for an M1.

Please dont post lectures about how everyone changes their minds later on b/c I know that already. Some residencies don’t fit the preferences I listed above (lifestyle, 300k, low to mod competition)
Ex: derm - high pay and good lifestyle but rlly competitive
EM - good pay and mod competition, but lifestyle may not be great

I’m just asking for good specialties to consider. I’m sure there are specialties I never heard of before. As someone who is curious about the broad spectrum of medicine, I would like to learn more of what’s out there.
You asked a question and got answers. Your wishlist is literally what 80% of students want so its extremely vague and can be found by a search on here relatively easily
 
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Hippocrates II

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You and everyone else wants high pay and a great work:life balance. Maybe start classes and develop some interests before you start trying to select a specialty based off of salary requirements. I realize you're young now and possibly haven't figured this out yet, but doing something you love and earning 275k is a lot better than earning 300k doing something you don't love, and you'll soon find that 300k does not provide really any discernible, material difference in life than 275k.
 

operaman

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What you’ve posted is what you want in a job. This has little to do with what you want in a field as there are jobs in most all fields that will allow you those things.

Things you need to think about:
1) what exactly do you want to DO during those 9-5 hours (in reality it’s more 8-6 even for the most lifestyle friendly, plus charting)?
2) how much unpredictability can you live with?
3) how does length of training required factor into your goals?

Do some shadowing, especially of sub specialty fields that you won’t rotate through otherwise. Crush it academically so you keep your options open.
 
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Black Coffee 24/7

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Hello, I’m an incoming M1. I haven’t decided which residency to pursue as I want to explore what’s out there.

More about myself:
F in early 20s, quiet & introverted, don’t mind seeing blood but prefer less surgery-heavy specialties
I’m aiming for a less competitive to mod competitive specialty.

Current Specialty Interests:
Radiology
Anesthesiology
IM - maybe Endo
Ophthamo

What I would like for the job:
-Work-life balance (like a 9-5, but on calls r fine)
-300k+
-Suburban to mid-size city setting, East Coast

I’m open to anything, so please suggest which residencies best match these preferences. Ty.

What's your board scores? Seriously, don't bother to think about this until you get at least your Step 1 back

But, here are some considerations:

1) Do you want to be a surgeon or not? A surgical residency means 80-90 hrs/wk work for 4-5 years

2) If not surgery, do you enjoy pt interaction or not? If not, pathology or radiology is for you

3) If you somewhat enjoy pt interaction, how long of pt interaction is your limited? If you love to know your pt and be their personal health advisors over a prolong period of like years, primary care may be what you want. Paperwork blows in this field though. Pathologies will get old really fast

4) If you like to talk to pts on occasions but can't stand dealing w/ them for longer than 5 mins, you can consider literally all subspecialties on medicine and Anesthesia

5) What kind of pts do you want to see on a regular basis? Kids = Peds; Drug addicts and criminals = EM; Disabled people = PMR

These are some quick considerations off the top of my mind

As for the money aspect, you can make a ton of money in all fields if you are efficient and see more pts
 
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trobinsonmd

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Hello, I’m an incoming M1. I haven’t decided which residency to pursue as I want to explore what’s out there.

More about myself:
F in early 20s, quiet & introverted, don’t mind seeing blood but prefer less surgery-heavy specialties
I’m aiming for a less competitive to mod competitive specialty.

Current Specialty Interests:
Radiology
Anesthesiology
IM - maybe Endo
Ophthamo

What I would like for the job:
-Work-life balance (like a 9-5, but on calls r fine)
-300k+
-Suburban to mid-size city setting, East Coast

I’m open to anything, so please suggest which residencies best match these preferences. Ty.

The specialties you've listed pretty much fit the bill... optho is little on the competitive end, but has a great lifestyle... anesthesia is great, but there will be a lot of early mornings in residency, radiology is good for your personality, you can also look into GI, non-invasive cards, rheumatology, neurology (although in some cases it will be hard to clear 300k)
 
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Piglet2020

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What's your board scores? Seriously, don't bother to think about this until you get at least your Step 1 back

But, here are some considerations:

1) Do you want to be a surgeon or not? A surgical residency means 80-90 hrs/wk work for 4-5 years

2) If not surgery, do you enjoy pt interaction or not? If not, pathology or radiology is for you

3) If you somewhat enjoy pt interaction, how long of pt interaction is your limited? If you love to know your pt and be their personal health advisors over a prolong period of like years, primary care may be what you want. Paperwork blows in this field though. Pathologies will get old really fast

4) If you like to talk to pts on occasions but can't stand dealing w/ them for longer than 5 mins, you can consider literally all subspecialties on medicine and Anesthesia

5) What kind of pts do you want to see on a regular basis? Kids = Peds; Drug addicts and criminals = EM; Disabled people = PMR

These are some quick considerations off the top of my mind

As for the money aspect, you can make a ton of money in all fields if you are efficient and see more pts

Thank you, most helpful post so far.

Edit:
1) No
2) Sometimes - Radiology is good
3) Length of Pt interaction doesn't matter to me - long-term or short-term both works
4) There are a ton of different subspecialties out there, esp in IM. How do you know which one is a match for you if you can't explore most of them in med school?
5) Any Pts are fine. I'm not picky on who I want to see in the future. I don't want to Peds though, but occasional kids visits are fine.

I'm not stringent on money requirements. If it's 250k, which most doctors make anyway, then that's fine too.
 
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Piglet2020

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Guys, I dont get why you are trying to patronize me. I didn't say these were requirements, only preferences. Some of the responses have been extremely unhelpful. I wanted suggestions about cool specialties out there that may match my preferences, not lectures about "Oh you are too young to know... wait till after MS2."

Like I said before, I'm not looking to make ANY decisions whatsoever about choosing one specialty as an MS1. I said I would like to know what OPTIONS are OUT THERE.

If I don't know X Specialty exist, how would I know who to contact in my school to learn more?
(Don't say just join an interest group -- yeah sure of course I will join some, but there are probably over 50. Like I mentioned before, I would like to know some specialties out there just to get my feet wet).

If you don't have anything remotely productive or helpful to say, just move on from this thread.
 

Dro133

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Guys, I dont get why you are trying to patronize me. I didn't say these were requirements, only preferences. Some of the responses have been extremely unhelpful. I wanted suggestions about cool specialties out there that may match my preferences, not lectures about "Oh you are too young to know... wait till after MS2."

Like I said before, I'm not looking to make ANY decisions whatsoever about choosing one specialty as an MS1. I said I would like to know what OPTIONS are OUT THERE.

If I don't know X Specialty exist, how would I know who to contact in my school to learn more?
(Don't say just join an interest group -- yeah sure of course I will join some, but there are probably over 50. Like I mentioned before, I would like to know some specialties out there just to get my feet wet).

If you don't have anything remotely productive or helpful to say, just move on from this thread.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but you're coming off sounding incredibly entitled.

If you really want to know all of the specialties that exist, you can Google it and find the AAMC page that lists every single board-certified specialty that exists. Otherwise, appreciate that people with more experience are posting here with what is actually very good advice.
 
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Piglet2020

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I'm not sure if you're aware, but you're coming off sounding incredibly entitled.

If you really want to know all of the specialties that exist, you can Google it and find the AAMC page that lists every single board-certified specialty that exists. Otherwise, appreciate that people with more experience are posting here with what is actually very good advice.

The only solid advice I got was from Black Coffee and a few others who made suggestions.

All the other posts, after the fact I posted that I already know that most people change their decisions & I'm not rushing to choose 1 specialty, are not useful at all. Even after I explained, they continued to lecture me on the same thing... so not sure how that's helpful unless they didn't read through and decided to post anyway.

I don't see what's the harm of asking what specialties are out there. I was looking for a more personalized approach than just googling all the specialties. I was hoping that MS3+/residents/docs would share their experiences, & whether their similar personalities and preferences, like mine, match what they have experienced in their respective field so far.
 

Black Coffee 24/7

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Thank you, most helpful post so far.

Edit:
1) No
2) Sometimes - Radiology is good
3) Length of Pt interaction doesn't matter to me - long-term or short-term both works
4) There are a ton of different subspecialties out there, esp in IM. How do you know which one is a match for you if you can't explore most of them in med school?
5) Any Pts are fine. I'm not picky on who I want to see in the future. I don't want to Peds though, but occasional kids visits are fine.

I'm not stringent on money requirements. If it's 250k, which most doctors make anyway, then that's fine too.

Last post to this topic. But, if you are flexible, then it will probably come down to your fit to the culture of the specialty, meaning that do you see yourself being the person that your attending in that specialty is in term of personality, lifestyle, and hobbies. There may be exceptions but your attending in that specialty should represent the stereotypical attending in that specialty really well.

So, while you're going through each system or organ in your first two years of preclinical, you will be exposed to the diff pathologies in each specialty. Your interest will def be geared more toward one field or another. My advice is to do a few electives in these fields in your third year and early part of 4th year to see the overall pic of each field. It will help your decision tremendously.

Just make sure to keep an open mind during 3rd year, have a good attitude, and work hard to be the best physician for your future pts.
 
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Apothecary Aquinas

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I know you're looking for personal experience/opinions and the like but I'd thought I'd drop the link to the ERAS 2019 participating residencies and fellowships page. I think you'll find it interesting as it is (like someone else mentioned) the full list of possible residencies/fellowships via ERAS and has a lot of lesser known programs like 'Brain injury medicine' and 'Clinical cardiac electrophysiology'. From there you can see which institutions have programs available and then go onto their page for more information about each program.

ERAS 2019 Participating Specialties & Programs
 
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Ho0v-man

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Radiology works a lot of overnights. Consider PMR—>pain.

Consider FM. You’ll def get your hours and any location you want. If you don’t have to be in a major city you can also get your pay.

Everyone here is right though bc you don’t realize what you like. For instance, IM seemed pretty cool to me until our internal med classes got rolling and now I realize being internist would make me wanna stab myself in the face. Another example is anesthesia. Everyone comes in considering it bc they think it would be cool to knock folks out and check their stocks. Then physiology kicks up and starts wrecking half the class lol. The opposite also happens too.
 

sunshinefl

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Thank you, most helpful post so far.

Edit:
1) No
2) Sometimes - Radiology is good
3) Length of Pt interaction doesn't matter to me - long-term or short-term both works
4) There are a ton of different subspecialties out there, esp in IM. How do you know which one is a match for you if you can't explore most of them in med school?
5) Any Pts are fine. I'm not picky on who I want to see in the future. I don't want to Peds though, but occasional kids visits are fine.

I'm not stringent on money requirements. If it's 250k, which most doctors make anyway, then that's fine too.

After this and your first post, I vote allergy and immunology
 
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